The American Studies Department at the University of Kansas is seeking candidates for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Latino Studies and/or Migration Studies expected to begin as early as August 18, 2015.Candidates should possess a strong emphasis on migration, with a specific focus on Latina/o Studies. Secondary areas of specialization are open and may include: gender, the family, and migration; comparative and historical migration; diasporas; human trafficking; migration in the Americas; public policy and law; and the ethical and moral dimensions of migration. Candidates will be expected to teach core courses in American Studies and in the Latino Studies minor and to contribute to the broader university research environment, including university initiatives in migration and trafficking in the context of the global economy.
For more information or to submit an application, please see the following website:
Richard Florida and the Creative Class Group recently examined the San Diego-Tijuana “mega-region” through the lens of regional economic development in an age when heightened national security is increasingly at odds with a globalizing economy. The resulting report, “From Border Barriers to Bi-National Promise” focuses on the established business and economic ties that connect San Diego and Tijuana, noting that a “frictionless border” would facilitate increased innovation and entrepreneurialism in industries such as high-tech on both sides of the border while allowing greater access to the thriving art, music, and culinary scenes in the mega-region. Unfortunately, the report offers that since 9/11, “The border has been seen as a national security issue rather than a commerce or economic development issue.”
Florida and his co-authors – most notably the University of California San Diego’s Mary Lindenstein Walshok – offer points to consider that are forward thinking and familiar to anyone studying the border region of the U.S. Southwest: Transportation infrastructure needs to be improved; investment needs to be made in more advanced technologies to manage border operations; and the U.S. government should separate policy from security, incorporating a wide range of departments when addressing border issues. Hopefully, this report will encourage policymakers in the fields of commerce and trade to push for reform.
What I found most illuminating about this report and salient to the study of borderlands history is how Florida conceptualizes the border defying mega-region in question. He states, “Place, not statehood, is the central axis of our time and our global economy.” Examining borderland regions in terms of “place” opposed to the geographically bounded spaces determined by borders drawn by nation-states could be useful to borderlands scholars researching other aspects of borderlands history, such as religion, culture, violence, and politics. This is true in my own work wherein documenting and understanding the sprawling expanse of South Texas and Northern Mexico over the course of a century is more a consideration of a place arbitrarily divided and not a space decided.
Click here for a full pdf of the report
Across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, the extractive industries carved complex social and environmental changes that deeply affected the landscape and communities of the region. Private companies and governments collaborated to build new railroads to support mining and other commercial endeavors, while new groups of people arrived in search of work. Long-standing views of proper conduct within frontier society gave way to hegemonic ideas of what it meant to be a “good citizen.” These transformations were closely linked to the deployment of new time-saving technologies that mobilized capital resources on behalf of state and corporate agents. This essay offers brief reflections on the impact of technical infrastructures and industrialization on everyday life in northern Mexico and the U.S. southwest during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Continue reading
Hello Borderlands History Blog followers. As the the 2014/2015 academic year begins to pass us by, we at the Borderlands History Blog have decided to create an interdisciplinary syllabus repository for courses on the U.S./Mexico, North American, and Global borderlands. Our ultimate goal is to establish a space where academics and teachers of all levels can access the latest information on the reading and visual materials, sources, methods, and assessments their colleagues use to aid students’ understanding of these diverse regions. Along with submissions from the field of History, we also encourage those from areas such as Anthropology, Comparative Borderlands Studies, English, Ethnic Studies,Indigenous Studies, Latino/a Studies, Sociology, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Syllabi from fields not mentioned above are also encouraged! Please send your submissions as PDF attachments to Dr. Kendra Moore at Kendra.Moore@nau.edu and have an excellent school year.
The Western History Association will hold its 54th annual conference in Newport Beach, California on October 15-18.
Like last year, I have gone through the preliminary program to highlight panels deals with Borderlands or Transnational history. The conference theme is “The West & the World” so hopefully that will lend to some good transnational themes. I was on the program committee for this year’s conference and there are some great panels lined up, including some non-Borderlands ones that I might highlight in a later post. As always, the timing of the panels causes conflicts. In some time-slots there are multiple relevant panels, and in others, none. Overall, there do not seem to be as many as last year, but there are some other non-borderlands panels that look excellent and will make up for it! Plus, it can’t be borderlands all day and all night, can it?
Brett Hendrickson, a Religious Studies scholar at Lafayette University, wrote the following piece for the blog Religion in the American West on the folk saint “El Tiradito” and his shrine in Tucson, Arizona. Hendrickson has studied and written about curanderismo and folk saints in depth. His book, Border Medicine: A Transcultural History of Mexican American Curanderismo, (link) is coming out at the end of 2014 from New York University Press. I met him at the University of New Mexico’s annual “Traditional Healing Without Borders” class two summers ago, and we have stayed in touch ever since. Last fall we participated in a panel on Religion and Healing in the Borderlands at the 2013 Western Historical Conference and we continue to share ideas and information about curanderismo in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Brett agreed to let me share this piece, originally posted on the Religion in the American West blog he regularly contributes to.
May 30, 2014
Tucson’s Shrine to “El Tiradito”
by Brett Hendrickson
On both sides of the international border with Mexico, devotions to so-called folk saints flourish. Some of the major figures include Jesús Malverde, the Niño Fidencio, and—of late (pun intended)—Santa Muerte. Often unorthodox, these figures once operated on the institutional edges of Catholicism, but nowadays, they often extend their power and care over devotees with multiple religious backgrounds and histories. Unlikely ever to gain official canonization, borderlands folk saints nevertheless remain the focus of a great deal of material religious activity. Continue reading
The U.S.-Mexico border is much more than just a line on a map. It is an open wound, a line in the sand, a political construct, a paradoxical place of division and connection, a marker of imagined projections of territorial power, a place that eludes state control.* Over the course of the past two hundred years, the border has transformed from a shifting line on maps, to a “line in the sand,” to an increasingly marked, built, and “fixed” border. Today’s border dissects so many things, yet it remains porous. People, animals, pathogens, drugs, money, ideas, religion, food, goods, water, and countless other things cross the border daily and nothing suggests that this movement will cease—no matter how big a wall we build. And yet, many who study the U.S.-Mexico border treat the border as if there is something absolute about it: many U.S. historians who study the U.S.-Mexico borderlands never research south of the borderline.
In Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, Samuel Truett writes that, “Most Americans have forgotten transnational histories not only because they have trusted maps of the nation, but also because they have succumbed to the siren-song of the state (p.5).” Many historians of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands fit this description, but we don’t have to, nor should we.
Here’s a great video by the CGP Grey people people about some things you may not have known about the creation of the U.S. Canadian border, and how imprecise it is.
Via NPR:‘Don’t Touch Me,’ Said Canada. ‘I Won’t!’ Said The U.S.A. So They Moved 20 Feet Apart
This analysis will explore colonial interactions within two U.S. foreign involvements through the lens of Borderlands History: the Philippines and Hawaii. Using the lens of interaction as a category of analysis, I will talk about how sexual and racial anxieties experienced by populations outside of North America have been in ongoing tension and unremitting negotiation with the American nation. By intentionally placing the Philippines and Hawaii into the realm of borderlands, scholars can further explore the transnational nature of borders, imperialisms, and societies.
As Julian Go contends, U.S. imperialism in the Philippines was singular for many reasons: the 1898 Treaty of Paris ceded the archipelago to the Americans rather than to Filipinos, and the terms of appropriation involved the “legally codified establishment of direct political domination over a foreign territory and peoples.” Island occupation spoke to the larger phenomenon surrounding the emergence of modern empires, such as the U.S., Japan and the U.K., as well as their shared goal in the acquisition of land. Their distant location and increasing western interests made the islands not only “exceptional,” but also illustrative of efforts to colonize societies located far beyond the continent. Continue reading